Vanessa Williams: I had a teen abortion

Apr 17, 2012 at 5:18 p.m. ET

Vanessa Williams is making another shocking revelation in her autobiography You Have No Idea: She had an abortion as a teenager.

Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams wasn't kidding when she said her new autobiography You Have No Idea would reveal everything about her past. The latest tidbit? The Desperate Housewives actress had an abortion when she was a teenager.

"Being pregnant is the most frightening thing that happens in your life," Williams said in an interview with Nightline, airing tonight. "I knew in high school that's something that I was not prepared to do or fight or struggle with."

The actress, now a mom of four, said her sexual activity probably had a lot to do with her previous revelation: Williams was molested by an 18-year-old girl when she was a child.

"I think I was highly sexualized because I was in fifth grade and I had this experience," the onetime Miss America explained. "Because it feels good, you're like, OK, well this is supposed to be normal. That's not normal for a 10-year-old to be seduced."

Oh, and by the way? Her mom, who coauthored the book with her, didn't know any of this went on.

Corey Feldman details Hollywood sex abuse conspiracy >>

"[I] had no idea that, that had happened," Helen Williams told Nightline. "But in retrospect, it kind of put into place some of her reactions during her pre-teen years."

So why put it in the book at all? "It was definitely a choice, because it didn't need to be [in the book]," Williams admitted. "It happened one night where [her molester] told me, 'Come over here'… I didn't know that it was wrong, but I knew that it wasn't right because I wasn't supposed to tell anybody."

Williams is accepting of it all, though. "I've learned to embrace my past," she said. "I embrace the choices that I have been given in my life."

Watch the full interview on Nightline tonight at 11:35 p.m. ET.

Image courtesy Joseph Marzullo/